Our staff

We have a number of very dedicated members of staff, the majority with children of their own.  We are registered and regularly inspected by Ofsted, and as a member of the Pre-school Leaning Alliance we regularly review and update our skills and undertake any relevant training.

We have an child:adult ratio of 4:1 for the 2 to 3 year olds and 8:1 for 3+ year olds.

In order to ensure the quality of the day care, a childcare development worker from the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership visits us on a regular basis and offers help and advice in all aspects of the pre-school.

An Early Years co-ordinator is also available to offer advice on the curriculum.

Our team

Hello, I’m Emma. I have been working at Playgroup for 5 years having started as a student and slowly making my way up. I am the Acting Manager and I have 3 children who have all attended the Playgroup and thoroughly enjoyed themselves – it was what motivated me to want to join the team. I love the teaching and learning aspect of my job – learning through play is such an enjoyable experience and incredibly rewarding. I enjoy problem solving, whether that is encouraging a child to finish a jigsaw puzzle or helping a child to understand their feelings and their behaviour.

Emma Carney

Hello, I am Evelise! I will be the Acting Deputy Manager at Playgroup for now alongside Rachel. I am originally from Brazil and have many years of experience in child care. I have worked in many different settings and at many different levels giving me a well rounded knowledge of working in an early years setting and has meant that I have bought many new and exciting activities and songs to Playgroup. I love to be creative and using the children’s interests to create wonderful artwork- the more glittery and messier the better! Embracing a child’s creativity enables us to encourage learning in all areas and helps a child to process the world around them. Creating imaginative role play areas and making up songs are just some of the ways I am able to encourage this. I also love to use the children’s experiences to help them learn and
understand the world around them and to encourage inclusivity, friendship and kindness.

Evelise Fernandez

My name is Rachel, and I will be Acting Deputy Manager alongside Evelise. I have a long history with Playgroup as this is the setting I attended when I was 3 as well as my Mum working here for many years! I love that my boys will also be coming here, the Playgroup means so much as a community based charity and has a very special place in the village and surrounding areas. I have worked in Early Years since I left school and am looking forward to sharing the experiences and knowledge I have gained from other settings with the team. I love encouraging the children with their sensory play, we can learn so much by observing and building on their experiences with the addition of some mud, flour, water- whatever they like!

Rachel Dwyer

Hello, I am Tina! I have been with the Playgroup for 21 years, I knew the Playgroup when it was a small setting located in the village. I love the outdoors and nature and love to encourage the children to be mucky and inquisitive. The calming influence of being outside and a bit of fresh air can solve most problems when you are under 5! I also love to introduce maths into many activities – it is an area of learning that many find tricky but can easily be added into the simplest tasks, meaning the children are learning without knowing it.

Tina Robins

Hi! My name is Francesca. I am so excited to have joined the PVPG team! I have seen first hand how much my daughter, Amelie, has thrived within the setting and am looking forward to being part of such a lovely team and working with your equally lovely children. I am a big advocate of messy play, outdoor learning and allowing children to explore and investigate the world around them. I am an avid reader and love to find new stories with my daughter, I believe that reading has countless benefits for children and can’t wait to share all my silly character voices with your little ones!

Francesca Downey

Kate Eggleton

Hi there, I’m Kate.

I have previously worked at playgroup but left to homeschool my two eldest children. It was at playgroup I trained for 2 years and gained my level 3 childcare qualifications and thoroughly enjoyed working with such an amazing team of ladies, so much so I am very much looking forward to returning and  working with your lovely children, teaching them, and helping them along their journeys when transitioning to big school.

I absolutely love being outdoors in nature, exploring all kinds of plants and wildlife and believe very much In the importance of Sensory play for children as not only does it promote language development, cognitive growth, problem solving skills but also with their social interactions.

Kate Eggleton


Hello! I’m Helen, I’ve worked with children for nearly 17 years I am married and have 2 boys both at Pangbourne primary. We have 3 dogs, a cat and many fish. I have a lot of experience with children with additional needs, though it can be challenging the sense of achievement felt when you help a child to navigate themselves through a situation is beyond any reward. I love doing arts and crafts and you can often find me covered in paint- Allowing children to express and explore this area of learning is such fun, after all there are not many places where it is ok to get as messy as you like!

I have my NVQ Level 3 in Childcare and am First aid trained.

Helen Buckett

The committee

Chairperson:  Carrie Gadsby
Treasurer:  Maebh Booth
Enrolments Officer :  Maebh Booth
Secretary :  Carly Jackson
General Members:  Olwen Grant, Kate Skelhorn, Richard Skelhorn, Hannah King, Rachel Dwyer

A parent management committee – whose members are elected by the parents of the children who attend the playgroup – manages the playgroup. The elections take place at the Annual General Meeting, which is held in the Autumn Term each year. The committee is responsible for:

1. managing the playgroup’s finances
2. employing and managing the staff
3. making sure that the playgroup has, and works to, policies which help it to provide a high quality service
4. making sure that the playgroup works in partnership with the children’s parents.

The Annual General Meeting is open to the parents of all of the children who attend the playgroup.  It is their forum for looking back over the previous year’s activities and shaping the coming year’s activities.

The committee works on a completely voluntary basis. There must be a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary who are the “officers” of the Committee and a minimum of 3 and maximum of 9 other members.  All members are required by Ofsted to have health and police checks.  The playgroup has an inspection by Ofsted where the premises and the general running of the playgroup are inspected. All staff members also have the above-mentioned checks. It is the responsibility of the Committee to ensure that the playgroup adheres to all new regulations and guidelines.

The committee is also responsible for ensuring the financial security of the playgroup and organising fundraising events.

Being on the committee means that you have a chance to have your say and contribute to the running of the playgroup.

At this important early learning stage, we encourage parents to participate in all aspects of pre-school life. There are many opportunities in which to be involved from joining the committee to helping with fund raising events.  Please remember that the parents run the playgroup.

Health and Safety

The health, safety and welfare of everyone in the group are paramount at all times.  All staff are familiar with the safety procedures regarding illness and accidents.  All accidents and incidents, however minor, are recorded on an individual accident or incident sheet which parents are asked to sign and date.  We ensure that at least one first aid trained staff member is present at each session.

Interested in working for Pangbourne Valley Playgroup?

If you are interested in joining our friendly team, please contact us about any current vacancies.  We are an equal opportunities employer.